Friday, July 29, 2011

The Many Faces of Pat

Six years my junior, Pat Moorehead Ewens turned 75 this week, Though I don’t remember it, I first met Pat when she was a camper at Camp Killoqua, a lovely but less than rustic Camp Fire Girls Camp near Everett Washington. Pat was from a rural logging town, and the camping experience must have been thrilling for her. Pat has the pictures to prove it! Who knows, I might have taught her to swim for I was the Assistant Waterfront Director on tiny Cranberry Lake. I was Miss Bonnie, 19, and I think I thought I was big stuff. It was many years later we were to discover this confluence of our lives.

Last Sunday Pat hosted a most unusual birthday party at a delightful English tea house in Menlo Park , about an hour’s drive from here. Lisa’s Tea Treasures is anexperience in English elegance..

The invitation encouraged we bring favorite poems, wear hats, pearls, and gloves. What fun! Most of us wore long dresses as well, as we marveled over the tea cozies, bone china, and cucumber sandwiches.

As I reflect on Pat’s accomplishments, I smile at how she has always steered her own course for her life has been as unique as her 75th birthday party. I’m indebted to dear friend Andrea for bringing Pat and I back together.

At one time Pat, then Sister Pat, was Andrea’s English teacher in a convent in Yakima, WA. Just as she has been for so many others, Pat was a steady anchor in Andrea’s young, rather troubled life. They always remained dear friends. Eventually Pat changed vocations, went back to school, married, and moved to California where Andrea and Stacy lived, Sadly, her dear husband died, which gave Andrea a chance to be there for Pat. For more years than I can count we have celebrated holidays and birthdays together. Time marched on and eventually Pat surprised as all by adopting two children from Russia, first Mila and then Maria, both young adults now.

As the girls matured a new page was turned when Pat reunited with a college friend who had left the priesthood. Love bloomed, which is the story of how Pat has made yet another transition. She now hangs her hat most of the year in another rural setting: North Lake, WI, where I’m sure her new family rejoices in her energy, talents, and poetry. I salute you, Pat. You are an inspiration to so many.

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